We had initially agreed to co-operate with HimalAsia. HimalAsia had put the
Nepalese NGO Sahayog Himalaya-Nepal in charge of implementing the project. However,
during our joint project visit in August/September 2007 we soon realised that direct
and exclusive co-operation with Sahayog Himalaya-Nepal was more appropriate. Following
approval by HimalAsia and the board of Esel-Initiative, a new agreement on co-operation
Sahayog Himalaya-Nepal was founded in 2005 by Laxmi Gauchan. It is a registered NGO.
Laxmi Gauchan continues in her position as chairperson and is personally supervising
the project of Esel-Initiative. She was born in Mustang and is living and working
there and in Kathmandu. A mother of two grown up children, she has many years of
experience as a social worker and has been actively committed to the education of
girls from poor families long before the founding of Sahayog Himalaya-Nepal.
Sahayog Himalaya-Nepal works to sustain the poor through education of girls and women,
income-generating measures for poor women, promotion of hygiene and health, cultivation
of vegetables and medicinal plants and protection of the environment. The seabuckthorn
project in Mustang was started by Laxmi Gauchan. She organises training, collection and
processing of the harvest etc.
Sahayog Himalaya-Nepal is relatively small since only persons who successfully worked
for it over several years on a voluntary basis are accepted as members. Among other
activities, Sahayog Himalaya-Nepal works closely with mothers' co-operatives, which
in many Himalayan villages are the driving force behind sustainable development. As
this NGO has a very good network, especially in the Himalayan districts, it is well
able and prepared to implement the project in the entire mountain region and - if
donations increase - also in other poor regions of Nepal.